If you know more about your organization and its customers, you’ll be able to make better decisions about the future of your business. Thanks to an increased focus on business intelligence, even small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of these analytical tools to improve operations and customer relations. What is business intelligence? How does it work, and why does your business need it?
Defining Business Intelligence
Business intelligence is an approach to organizational management utilizing software solutions and other services to convert your data into actionable intelligence. Some have even compared business intelligence to descriptive analytics. Basically, it allows your business to see what has worked in the past, as well as what could happen in the future and where your business is currently standing. This is often confused with business analytics, but the aim of BI is a bit different. Instead of guessing what is going to happen, it looks at what has already happened to help you make better decisions in the future.
How Can You Get Started with It?
If you’re like most businesses, chances are that information is stored across your organization in multiple databases. You’ll have to get them in order if you want to take advantage of solutions that depend on it. In most cases, this includes rounding up your data and placing it in one location for easy access. You can then link together tables to create a data cube. Data warehouses can also use dynamic links to databases to make changes to data and change the way that it’s represented at a glance. Some databases can’t do this so, they rely on importing databases in other ways.
How Does It Work?
Now that your data warehouse is set up, you can start analyzing the data with multilayer queries. Since all of your databases are now connected, you can easily enter in search queries for any information needed. For example, you can search your inventory, as well as create a list of what’s most popular from your business. It can then cross-reference these two lists to determine how much products sell, and when.
Reports Are Important
Every time you run a query, you will wind up running a report as well. Basically, the report ensures that you actually have information to utilize. Reports are helpful because they help you make educated decisions about where and where not to place products. The interesting idea that BI introduces is that older methods of doing business may not necessarily be viable any longer. While the upfront costs of creating a data warehouse may be considerable, BI can provide such a huge return on investment that the expenses accrued aren’t as damaging.
Eckstrom Consulting can help your business implement business intelligence technology. To learn more, reach out to us at (406) 730-5105